You don’t get what you want. You get what you settle for. Word.
If pure gold tattoos existed (and I haven’t yet lost hope that they do) I’d already have that scrawled up my right thigh as a permanent reminder to NEVER SETTLE. Actually, I lie, I’d just have ‘Truth’ tattooed on my ring finger in place of a ring. But that’s beside the point. Let’s get back to not f***ing settling.
You can probably tell I’m annoyed. My mother marvelled once, back when my 5 year old self reconstructed a tumbling house of cards for the two-hundredth time with persistence and determination, that I was invested with great patience. Yep… And, No. Not always. Not faced with disrespectful, inappropriate, cowardly behaviour – from ANYBODY. Mother darling, only when it’s worth it!
So here I am, writing about self-love, and I wanted it to be all soft and smoochy, full of sparkle and compassion and understanding and, you know… loveliness. Then real life waved her ‘try this’ wand, and conjured up a whopping great curve ball of crap behaviour that I WILL NOT settle for ever, EVER, again.
And that, darling, is a very good sign my self-love is kicking in just as it should! Houston, we’re goin’ in!
If you still think self-love is simply about treating yourself, taking time out and taking the day off when you need to. Think bigger. Think deeper rather.
Self-love runs waaaayyyy deeper than a new handbag and relaxing spa retreat. It is gritty, often excruciatingly uncomfortable, sets off all your self-preservation pirates and takes a whopping dose of will power.
Self love isn’t a one off overhaul that’s done and dusted. It’s a moment by moment practice, a daily renewal of vows to love an honour yourself and a never-ending process. As long as you’re alive, you’ll be practicing. So you may as well enjoy the adventure. Knowing how to practice self compassion comes in really handy when you are a Self-Love warrior.
The beauty of Self-Love? It’s delightfully joyful, sparklingly clear and exhilaratingly empowering at its core.
Self Love simply reinforces the very foundation of a life that you won’t ever, ever need to escape from.
I have three categories in the Self Love scale
1) The ‘easy’ self love stuff…
Morning warm water and lemon. Religiously. A symbol of self love in that the very. first.thing I do in the morning is an act of caring for my body.
Morning meditation. Ditto on the act of caring – for my sanity. I recommend Insight Timer. If you don’t meditate, try concentrating on at least 5 slow, deep breaths immediately before you look at your phone!
Fixing my intention for the day. Shoot that arrow!
Intention of feeling energetic and healthy = choosing a great, big plateful of fresh fruit and vegetables even when my devilish inner child would choose fries
Intention of space and peace = pausing before replying to anything (works with preposterous demands from teenagers, painful colleagues and narcissistic bosses).
Intention of lightness of being = prioritise joy = lunch or chat with someone hilarious. Not cleaning before the cleaner comes!
- Planning my trail event calendar in advance so I fit those weekends in first!
- Choosing a drink out with the girls because sometimes it’s important to let go and not always rigidly stick to plan.
- Saying an huge YES to every amazing opportunity even if it’s REALLY BAD TIMING (like spontaneously flying to Hong Kong for a friend’s 50th) because some opportunities are just too good not to miss.
- Wearing perfume and bright lipstick to races for the pure joy of it
- Forgetting about the money and splurging on 5 pairs of expensive sexy silk lingerie because if you don’t do it at 47… when the hell are you going to do it. HELLOOO?
- Investing in myself (coaching, training, mentoring, cleaner… any sort of assistance)
2) Self Love in drag as personal challenge, aka doing the thing I least want to do (until I’m doing it, or it’s done)
- Waking before the rest of the house in winter to meditate or write in the dark in peace
- Getting up at the ungodly hour required to work with my coach in Australia
- Getting outside to train when I’m still working or the weather is shite, no matter how reasonable that ‘do it lateeeeeer’ voice sounds
- Respecting my body’s deep need for hibernation in winter (getting to bed before midnight)
- Letting others down – choosing a run over a night out/coffee/drinks with my best friends whom I adore, because I have a whopping great goal that guides me like a sun.
- Going without food! Fasting once a month for 60 hours
- Fixing my budget and sticking to it
- Sitting with my ‘shadow stuff’ and being brutally honest about what’s mine and what’s not mine.
- Giving up … when it’s braver and more intelligent to do so than to carry on
Self love disguised as ‘being mean, not being the nice girl, not fitting in and generally being evil (Think URSULA in the little Mermaid!)
Ruthlessly letting the hell go of anything and everything that is messing with my inner peace and/or happiness, i.e. letting go of whatever really doesn’t work for me. Person, place, activity, thing or thought.
Being exceptionally selective about what I do with my time and who I spend that time with, who I will trust to be part of my inner circle and who stays.the.hell.out whatever our history.
Re-evaluating and choosing differently over and over again. Then, is not now.
Speaking up even as I internally anticipate the oncoming tsunami: “Nope, can’t let that pass, I’m calling you on your bullshit’ or a polite but firm, ‘No thanks, that doesn’t work for me. Let’s try this.’
Doing what I truly madly deeply want, regardless of what other people will think or say.
Self love ?
It’s is about consistently coming through for yourself by knowing what you want MORE at any given time.
Strengthen it like a muscle.
Become your own lover. Enjoy the adventure…
I ask you darling if you were your most cherished beloved, what would you no longer settle for, in the name of Love ?
Your self-love journey starts there.